Introducing chicks to OTHER chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GrFChickens, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. GrFChickens

    GrFChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 8, 2015
    Hi there!

    We recently ordered 10 sweet Buff Orpington chicks in the mail, and through sad circumstances, all but two are left (two died before they got here, three died soon after we brought them in the house, and two more died the first night because they worked their way to the edge of the brooder and fell asleep there. We are still learning and feel horrible about the situation :( ). These two surviving chicks are about 6 days old. They are doing great!

    We'd like to get more chicks, as we have room in our coop for 5 chickens. We were thinking to order 10 more chicks and give a few away so we had 5-6 left.

    But we don't know how it will work to introduce these new chicks to our 6-day-old ones. Do chicks accept other chicks well?? How will it work with brooder temp - since the first batch will be about a week old when the second batch need higher temps . . . we were thinking just to keep the brooder on the low side of normal to accommodate both batches.

    Thank you!! :)
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    The sooner you can get your new chicks the better as it is mainly the size difference between chicks that matters--chicks significantly smaller might get picked on and the little things grow FAST!

    Your brooder should have a temperature gradient of approx 20 degrees from one end to the other so the chicks can self-regulate. The younger ones can pop into the warmest area if they need to. Put the water and food on the cool side.
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    A week's difference should be fine. I've found adding the newbies at night seems to work well. By morning they seem to be accepting of each other and the younger ones can follow the older ones to the food and water.
    They can also determine how close or far they want to be from the source of heat.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It sounds like the chicks in your first mail order fell victim to shipping stress, usually due to sitting for long periods on cold loading docks.

    I doubt the two you found at the far end away from the heat source died from sleeping there. That may just be where they happened to be when they died. Healthy chicks will move in and out of the heat zone to self regulate their body temps. You want one end to be cooler than the warm end.

    You can pretty much relax knowing that chicks usually adapt very quickly to new chicks any time inside the first four weeks. They are more accepting, of course, to chicks as close as possible to their same size and age, so it's better to add more sooner than later.
  5. jayelle96

    jayelle96 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2016
    We added a fourth chick to our current three today. The oldest of the three is about 10 day, and the newbie is about four days. The size difference is more than I expected it to be - but this is my first chicken experience, so what do I know? They seem to be okay - but the new one is mostly hiding out in the cave.

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